Location: Laemchabang, Cholburi
Built-up area: 25,000m2
Year of completion: 2008
Photographer: Jaroonrat Vithoosuwan
During 1997 Asian economy crisis, Laemtong Shopping mall, Laemchabang, is one of some thousand projects in Thailand that were heavily affected. Like many other fields of businesses, retails are in their worst condition in Thailand’s history of development. The 100,000 square meter Laemtong Shopping mall was declining to the half-abandoned stage. The high rise section was rotting while the retail part was left more than half empty. The building was architecturally warned out.
The building renovation started in 2007, ten years after crisis, as the owner’s business entered the new era where the second generation of the family has brought the retail business to the new flight, with the new name, Harbormall. In the plan includes the redesign of the façade, front plaza and whole new interior to suit the new business landscape of the location. It is a low budget project to work with considering its very large built area.
The façade is an all-new steel structure covering the front part of the old building. The new skin, attached to the steel frames, is composed by some 2,000 pieces laminated glass fins with 7 different customized colors. Because of multi-layering of transparent materials, the gap between the old and the new façade helps adding complex lucidity to building. It turns from a giant blue box during day time to a glowing green one in the evening. The new characteristic of the shopping mall is to reveal more the movements of people inside rather than to have conventional solid wall architecture.
The interior of the shopping mall has been through an extensive process of transformation as well. More natural light is brought into the space via a large skylight. In addition to that all old school extravagant materials have been changed to the more simple, clean and light ones to implement different perception of shopping to the locals.
Photographs by Ben